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Wellingborough & Kettering News, January 22nd, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins
Leather Trades Dinner

On Thursday, the 13th inst., a dinner was provided at the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Rushden, by a member of the representatives of the leather trade, to which the principal manufacturers were invited. The leather trade was represented by the following gentlemen: Mr. John Morrell, chairman; Mr, William Poole, vice-chairman; Messrs. Rose, Barnes, Williams, Maddock, James, Charlton, Warwick, Wm. Morris, and Edward Morris. The following manufacturers were also present: Messrs. George Denton, Paul Cave, Wm. Colson, Wm. Claridge, John Claridge, Wm. Claridge, jun., F. Knight, Sharp, and C. Cunnington.

After the cloth was removed the usual loyal toasts were given. The toast "Success to the trade of Rushden," was proposed by Mr. Wm. Morris, who said he hoped the manufacturers would continue to prosper in the future as they had done in the past, and added that he attributed their success to the amount of energy displayed, and close application to business. Mr. Morris also drew attention to the fact that of the nine manufacturers present all were total abstainers, and that such an example must have a beneficial effect on their employees.

Mr. George Denton, in replying to the toast, expressed the pleasure the manufacturers felt in accepting the invitation, and thought an occasional meeting of this kind was very desirable, as it tended to cement together the good feeling that existed between the two parties. Mr. Denton also spoke in high terms of the harmony that existed between the representatives of the leather trade, and said he thought the same spirit might be emulated to a greater extent by the manufacturers, with benefit to themselves.

Mr. John Morrell, in responding to the toast of "The Chairman" said he was the oldest member of the party, and had visited Rushden for many years past. He could look round and see several men present whose fathers he had known—men who had borne the heat and burden of the day, and laid the foundation of the Rushden boot trade, but who had now passed away, and he hoped the sons would follow the noble example set them. Mr. Morrell also gave some good advice to the younger representatives of the leather trade, and advised them to be sober truthful, industrious, and persevering.

The Vice-chairman, Mr. Wm. Poole, in responding to the toast "Our Vice", expressed his gratification at seeing so many of his Rushden friends present, and the great pleasure he always felt in visiting their town, owing to the kind and genial reception accorded to all who went there on business. Mr. Poole said he was glad to be able to endorse the remarks made by Mr. Denton about the good feeling between the various members of the leather trades and said, however much they might contend against one another in the day, it was all over when the day's work was done, and they could meet on the best terms and enjoy their leisure hours together.

A number of songs, &c., were very ably rendered by the members of the party, and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was spent.

Towards the close of the evening, a rote of thanks was passed to the landlord of the Wheat Sheaf and his wife for the manner they had served up a dinner that would have done credit to any hotel in Northamptonshire, and the catering was fully appreciated by all present.

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